Springtime means more sunshine, warmer weather, and blooming flowers. Unfortunately, it also comes with the reemergence of insects. As the temperatures begin to rise, pests become more active. Because of this, you may soon find some uninvited guests in your house. While insects and wildlife play vital roles in our ecosystem, some pests are troublesome and can cause headaches for homeowners.
Some ants may infiltrate your house in the fall or winter to avoid the cold. Most will overwinter in the ground as larvae. As the weather gets warmer, ants become active and seek out shelter, food, and water. These tiny insects can easily get indoors through foundation cracks, vents, pipes, and utility lines. Once inside, ants are often found near a food or water source, particularly kitchens and bathrooms.
The biggest springtime pest is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are relatively large ants that form nests inside damp wood, causing extensive damage to walls and wood structures. If your house has a moisture problem, there is a good chance you will attract carpenter ants. A long-term carpenter ant infestation can cause significant property damage that may result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs.
Spiders play an essential role in controlling insect populations. They help control flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and other pests. Most spiders are harmless. The only exceptions are the brown recluse and black widow spiders, which are rarely found in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, spiders make people feel uncomfortable, and their cobwebs are rather annoying. Spiders enter homes through openings around doors and windows. Sometimes they are also brought indoors on furniture and household plants.
Spring brings April showers, May flowers, and raccoon babies! Raccoons mate in late winter with litters usually born in April and May. During this time, mother raccoons seek warm, safe places to have their babies. Attics and chimneys are some of the most common areas female raccoons will have their babies, resulting in unexpected headaches for homeowners. Once inside, raccoons cause all sorts of health hazards and damage to your house.
#4) Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Stink bugs have become a growing pest problem in the Midwest. They are well-known for the foul-smelling odor that they emit when threatened. These insects enter your home during the fall and winter to escape the cold. Stink bugs will become more active as temperatures warm. They are relatively harmless to humans and are primarily a nuisance. The only significant threat they pose is to farmers and gardeners since they eat plants and crops.
#5) Boxelder Bugs
As their name suggests, boxelder bugs feed on boxelder trees. These insects often move indoors during the fall and winter, seeking shelter from the cold. As temperatures rise in the spring, boxelder bugs emerge and become an annoyance for homeowners. They do not really pose a threat to you or your home. Boxelder bugs are primarily nuisance pests because they typically congregate on windows and siding in large masses. However, do not squish them. They will leave stains on curtains and fabrics.
#6) Asian Lady Beetles
Like boxelder bugs, Asian lady beetles seek shelter indoors to hibernate over the winter. Often confused for ladybugs, these beetles secrete foul-smelling fluids, bite, and congregate around windows in large groups. As the weather warms up, they become more active. They will climb around your windows and furniture. However, do not squish them. They will leave stains on your furnishings and curtains.
Spring has arrived! That means it is officially squirrel baby season. Squirrels mate in late winter and again in mid-summer, with litters usually born a month and a half after the mating season. Female squirrels often search for a safe place to nest. Attics, chimneys, and sheds are some of the most common areas squirrels build nests to have their young. While baby squirrels are cute, they are nosy and can cause serious damage to your insulation and electrical wires.
Wisconsin is home to several stinging insect species, including paper wasps, honey bees, and bald-faced hornets. Bees play an essential role in our environment because they help pollinate our crops. Mated queens overwinter in underground nests or artificial structures. As the weather gets warmer in the spring, the queen will lay eggs and start a new colony from scratch.
Spring is the swarming season for most subterranean termites, especially after rain showers. These silent destroyers constantly feed on wood. Termite activity is often overlooked until it is too late. A long-term termite infestation can cause extensive, expensive damage to your house. If your home has a moisture problem, there is a good chance you will also attract termites. Luckily, termites are relatively uncommon in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin. The carpenter ant is the main wood-destroying culprit in our region.
#10) Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetle grubs spend the winter underground in the soil. As the ground begins to thaw, adult beetles emerge from the ground in June and July. Japanese beetles are an invasive species that wreaks havoc with their feeding habits. Grubs feed on grass roots causing large patches of dead grass in your lawn. Adult beetles skeletonize leaves by feeding on all of the plant matter, except the veins. Japanese beetles feed on 300 different types of plants.